Hawaii residents turn in unwanted, expired prescription drugs

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Authorities collected expired and unwanted prescription drugs on four islands in Hawaii Saturday in the fourth annual National Take Back Initiative.

Residents who had expired or unused prescription medications were encouraged to bring them in to sites on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii island to have them disposed of safely.

The State Department of the Attorney General, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and State Narcotics Enforcement Division, organized the collections.

The DEA has collected almost 100,000 pounds of unwanted or expired medications at collections around the country. Authorities said Hawaii collected its share as well.

"We had about 1,700 pounds last year, but total, out of the prior ones, we had 4,300 pounds just here in Hawaii of prescription drugs turned in," said Robin Dinlocker, a special agent in charge with the DEA. "When you figure one pill is extremely light, if you have 4,300 pounds, that certainly is a lot of prescription drugs."

Collections statewide began at 10 a.m., but Dinlocker said people were lined up a half-hour before that at a collection site at the State Capitol. By 10:30 a.m., there were more than ten large boxes of dropped off prescriptions ready to be taken away for disposal.

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